Government is planning to make India roaming free from March 1 2013. If this happened as per promised, the telecom companies need to lower the STD charges to bring uniformity in the call prices. Generally STD charges are 50-60% higher than the local calls charges. If free roaming is on, the telecom companies need to forget about the STD call charges and there will be same charges for the local and STD call.
Roaming within country or domestic roaming is very less in most countries even in big countries like United States where single license is issued to the telecom companies. But in India, country divided into 22 telecom sectors of which company need to collect separate license for each circle. Roaming charges are imposed to the consumers if one goes out from his home circle to another circle.
Telecom companies oppose this move of free roaming across the countries. They feel that free roaming and no STD factor will hit their margins badly.
Companies need to cut down the STD calls because if the free roaming and STD calls are simultaneously implemented, the consumer may purchase an other circle SIM and use for STD calls which is roam free and also use for incoming which is free as free roaming. So telecom companies need to lower the STD calls.
Companies also suggest that it can compromise the security as some can purchase the SIMs from the palaces for their known area and can use it anywhere in the country.
Companies earns around 9-10% of their revenue from the roaming charges which is very vital for them but TRAI is looking for the pan-India rule in which no roaming charges will be implement across the country.
So with these two good things to the consumers, I think companies have not any option left to increase the local tariff charges.